Chenodia - The Classic Mother Goose
by Jacob Bigelow
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[Transcriber's Note:

This text is intended for users whose text readers cannot use the "real" (Unicode/UTF-8) version of the file. The "oe" ligature used in Latin verses is shown in brackets as [oe]. All Greek text, including the title of the book, has been transliterated and shown between marks:

Eugamoi, deipni taches hekastos

Typographical errors are listed at the end of the e-text.]


[Bookplate: 1650. SIGILL: COLL: HARVARD: CANTAB: NOV: ANGL: The Gift of Jacob Bigelow, M.D., of Boston. (H. U. 1806) 13 Nov. 1871.]

Harvard College Library— from Dr. Bigelow—




Argutos inter strepere anser olores.

By Jacob Bigelow

CAMBRIDGE: Printed (Not Published): University Press. 1871.

1871, Nov. 13 Gift of Jacob Bigelow, M.D. LL.D. of Boston. (H. U. 1806.)

University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., Cambridge.


The work familiarly known as "Mother Goose's Melodies" has the dignity of being already an undoubted classic among the most incipient cultivators of literature in the United States. It is a compilation taken mostly from "Gammer Gurton's Garland" or the "Nursery Parnassus," an English child's book about a century old, of which various editions have been published in London, Glasgow, and other places. It is stated in one of its late prefaces that it was originally issued at Stockton in a small twopenny brochure, without date, printed by and for R.Christopher. Sir Harris Nicholas says it appeared in the year 1783. The American "Mother Goose" contains many interpolated articles indigenous in the Western hemisphere, which are of various, and some even of doubtful merit.

In England, the "Arundines Cami," the "Sabrin Corolla," and other representative works of distinguished seminaries, have occasionally drawn on "Gammer Gurton" for materials of their classic versions. These versions are sometimes stately in their prosodial exactness, and at other times as playfully loose as the original English ditties first set to rhyme by Gurton and afterwards copied by Goose.[A]

The Chenodia, now first printed, an experiment for the author's own amusement, partly in classic verse of various metres, partly in medival and unclassic rhyme, and partly, like the original English, in no metre at all, is tendered as an offset for any disparagement of the dead languages contained in two essays read in 1865 and 1866, at a time when classical studies were paramount in Harvard University and other colleges of the United States.

J. B.

[Footnote A: There appears to be some reason for believing that at least a century before Gammer Gurton's works were published in England, abodily "Mother Goose" was at work on the other side of the Channel. In Scott's novel of "Woodstock," chapter 28, Charles II., then a fugitive, says: "It reminds me, like half the things I meet with in this world, of the 'Contes de Commre l'Oye.'" Not having been able to obtain a sight of "Commre l'Oye," we must leave the original claim for authorship as a field for future controversy.]



Sprattus et Uxor 9 Par Avium 10 Rex Arthurus 11 Mors Turdo-Galli 12 Puer Cruleus 13 Vetula Calceocola 14 Canis Kevensis 14 Diccora Dogium 15 Thom Quadrijug 16 Homunculus et Puellula 17 Bopipias 20 Adven Mendici 20 Lunicola 21 Magi Gothamenses 22 Jackus et Jilla 23 Felis in Fidibus 24 Grumbo Gigas 25 Miles Redux 26 Ansercula 27 Labor et Cura 28



Jack Spratt could eat no fat, His wife could eat no lean, And so between them both They licked the platter clean.

Sprattus horrescens adipem recusat, Uxor et non vult tolerare macrum: Conjuges digni! poture sic de- tergere lancem.

Sprattos msts stear exeleipen; H gun sphodrs apepheugen ischnon; Eugamoi, deipni taches hekastos Pant' apoleichei.


Two little birds were sitting on a stone, One flew away and then there was one, T' other flew away and then there was none, So the poor stone was left all alone.

One of the little birds back again flew, In came t' other and then there were two; Says one bird to t' other, "How do you do?" "Very well, I thank you; pray how do you?"

Fama est par avium venisse insistere saxo, Quarum prim abeunte superstitit inde secunda: Illa autem fugiens jam vix vestigia liquit, Et saxum m[oe]rens in campo luget inani.

Ecce autem rediens avium comparuit una, Altera non segnis sociam complectitur almam: Arreptque manu, "Quid agis dulcissima rerum?" "Suaviter ut nunc est, et jam cupio omnia qu vis."


When King Arthur ruled the land, He ruled it like a king: He bought four pecks of barley-meal To make a brave pudding.

A pudding brave the king did make And stuffed it well with plums; Great lumps of suet he put into it, As big as both his thumbs.

The king and queen partook thereof, And all the court beside; And what they did not eat that night, The queen next morning fried.

Angli rex imperio potitus, Hordei nactus modium farin, Ordinat c[oe]n proper institut Sternere mensam.

Mira farrago exoritur culin, Turgidis uvis maculata passis Intus et frustis adipis referta Pollicis instar.

Rex et affines epulantur omnes Principes magni dominque lect: Alma regina exoriente luce Fragmina frixit.


Who killed Cock Robin? I, says the sparrow; With my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin.

Quis Turdo-gallum necavit? En, adsum qui feci, Qui telum conjeci; Jaculis et arcu Passer interfeci.


Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn, The cow's in the meadow, the sheep in the corn. Where's the little boy that looks after the sheep? Under the haycock fast asleep.

C[oe]rule parve puer, cornu nunc suscipe cantum. Per segetes errant pecudes, per pascua vacc. Ah, ubi nunc ovium custos tam parvulus absit? En, gregis oblitus sub f[oe]no dormit opaco.


There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, Who had so many children she didn't know what to do; She gave them some broth without any bread, And whipt them all soundly and sent them to bed.

Calceus inclusit vetulam turbamque suorum, Multum qu luctans natos compescuit arctos; Jus illis profert oblita apponere panem, Verberibusque datis dormitum sva remittit.


I am his Highness's dog at Kew. Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?

Principis excelsi coram canis ecce Kevensis. Dic mihi vicissim quso cujus canis es tu?


Dickory dickory dock, The mouse ran up the clock, The clock struck one, The mouse ran down, Dickory dickory dock.

Diccora diccora dogium, Ascendit mus horologium. Insonuit hora, Fugit mus sine mor, Diccora diccora dogium.

+Dikkora dikkora dogion+ Aneb mus eis hrologion; Hen! hra eph; Ho de mus kateb. Dikkora dikkora dogion.+

Archete Dikkorikas moisai philai archet' aoidas. gerth poth' hurax, aneb d' eis hrologtn; Kdnos phthongon deinon katepheuge phobtheis. Lgete Dikkorikas moisai ite lget' aoidas.


Tom's coach and six, whither in such haste going? But a short journey, to his own undoing.

Quadrijugis Thomas quo nunc se proripit ille? Abiit in celerem—brevis est via, nota—ruinam.


There was a little man, And he wooed a little maid, And he said, Little maid, will you wed wed wed? I have little more to say, Then will you ay or nay, For the least said is soonest mended ded ded.

Homunculus eximius puellulam amavit, Quam ut nubendam duceret sic ore compellavit: Quid verbis opus pluribus? Dic volo, dicve nolo, Sat verbum sapientibus: responde sine dolo.

Then the little maid replied, "Should I be your little bride, Pray, what shall we have for to eat eat eat? Will the flame that you are rich in Make a fire in the kitchen, Or the little god of love turn the spit spit spit?"

Responsum dat puellula,—Si flectar ad nubendum Dic, quso, quid cibarii habebimus edendum? Amorem credis ignem in culin servaturum, Aut parvulum Cupidinem jam veru versaturum?

Then the little man replied, And, they say, a little sighed, For his little heart was big with sorrow sorrow sorrow, "My offers are but small, But you have my little all; And what we haven't got we must borrow borrow borrow."

Replicuit homunculus suspiriis convulsus, Ingenti gritudine cor parvulum perculsus, Non multa quidem profero, sed omnia relinquo; Et quicquid nobis deerit petemus a propinquo.

The little man thus spoke; His heart was almost broke; And all for the sake of her charms charms charms. So the little maid relented, And softened she consented The little man to take to her arms arms arms.

Sic fatur ille lacrymans ex corde desolato, Et propter pulchritudinem ad mortem vulnerato. Mollitur tum puellula, amorem et agnovit, Beatumque homunculum amplexu suo fovit.


Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, And couldn't tell where to find 'em. Let 'em alone, and they'll come home, And bring their tails behind 'em.

Parvula Bopipias amissos quritat agnos, Nec reperire locum quo lature potest. Desine, Bopipias, redeuntes nocte videbis, Caudasque incolumes post sua crura ferent.


Hark, hark, the dogs do bark, The beggars have come to town; Some in rags and some in jags, And some in velvet gowns.

En! cum canum latratu, Et multo ululatu; Veniunt mendici repentes, Egeni, pannosi, Squalentes, exosi, Vel sericas togas gerentes.


The man in the moon came down at noon, Inquiring the way to Norwich. The man of the South has burnt his mouth, Eating cold milk porridge.

Lunicola, meridie, ad terram descendebat, Et viam ad Norvicum assidue qurebat. Australis vir ineptus est et os excoriavit, Dum lacteum perfrigidum incontinens voravit.


Three wise men of Gotham Went to sea in a bowl. If the bowl had been stronger, My song had been longer.

Tres magi Gothamenses In scypho mare tranant Si cymba secura, Canenda sint plura.

Cives tres docti Gothamenses quora verrunt, Crater et fragilis corpora obesa vehit. Mox en tempestas, surguntque ad sidera fluctus. Musa dolens casum nunc memorare nequit.


Jack and Jill Went up the hill, To draw a pail of water; Jack fell down And broke his crown, And Jill came tumbling after.

Jackus cum Jill Formos ancill, Aquam hauriturus collem ascendebat; Prolabitur Jackus, Caput miser fractus, Et Jilla desperata in fatum ruebat.


Heigh diddle diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed To see such a craft, And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Hidideldelis, In fidibus felis, Super lunam vacca saltavit. Tum risit canicula, Vis re tam ridicul, Et lanx cochleare raptavit.


Fee! faw! fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman. Dead or alive, I will have some.

Fe! fau! fum! Sanguinem odoror Anglicum. Seu vivum seu mortuum, Bibendum est mihi aliquantum.

Ph! phou! phn! Haimatos osphrainomai tn Angln; nekron zn Chairs pinn.


Who comes here? A Grenadier. What do you want? A pot of beer. Where's your money? I've forgot. Get you gone, You drunken sot.

Heus! Quis illic? Ductor militi. Quid petis hic? Cantharum cervisi. Ubi moneta? Loqueris oblito. O, ebriose, In malum abito.


Goosey goosey gander, Where shall you wander? Up stairs, down stairs, In my lady's chamber.

Ansercula vagula, blandula, Qu nunc abibis in loca? Sursum, deorsum, In domin cubiculum.


Double double, Toil and trouble. Fire burn and Caldron bubble.

Ingeminat labor, Ingeminante cur, Cum flamma ardescit, Aqua ebullitura.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The following were written by hand in the original. The bookplate and the title page are definitely by the same person; the others are less certain. 1806 was Jacob Bigelow's Harvard graduation year.

Bookplate: Text beginning "The Gift of..."

"Harvard College Library, from Dr. Bigelow—"

Title Page: "By / Jacob Bigelow"

Entire "Gift of..." section, ending with parenthesized "H. U. 1806"

Errata (noted by transcriber)

Sprattos msts stear exeleipen;+ [Greek text printed with incorrect accents on last word] PUER CRULEUS / C[oe]rule parve puer [inconsistent spelling unchanged] The man of the South has burnt his mouth, [. for ,] Fee! faw! fum! [hand-written correction "f/" in margin: third "f" is damaged so it looks like "r" or "i"]


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